mercoledì 3 giugno 2015

Illuminazione intima – Ivan Passer

non succede niente di memorabile, è l'incontro di due amici, la città che va in campagna, l'amore per la musica, la vita di paese, orchestre per (matrimoni e) funerali, bambini, il matto del paese, alcolici a volontà, e il dolce finale, che poi si scioglierà, perla finale di un film che per quei tempi doveva essere ben strano, e poco socialista.
e però tutte le immagini e le scene te le ricordi bene, sono belle, divertenti e amare.
un piccolo capolavoro, opera prima che vale molto, buona visione - Ismaele

In generale, la vita è un insieme di prove prima del grande concerto: figuriamoci nella Cecoslovacchia degli anni Sessanta. In concomitanza con altre avanguardie, la Nova Vlna cerca un modo nuovo di fare cinema, un modo che in una società comunista ingessata come quella ceca (e slovacca) appare addirittura rivoluzionario. Con il suo perdersi nella descrizione di particolari alle volte banali ed altre volte surreali (come la contadina che prende il sole in un campo, mentre gli uomini escono dal cimitero per orinare al muro di cinta), Ivan Passer, al suo unico film cecoslovacco, descrive una paralisi, ben sintetizzata nella sequenza finale, nella quale i commensali non riescono a bere una bevanda, dovendo aspettare che si sciolga lo zucchero. L’andamento del film è quello tipicamente svagato della Nova Vlna, dove si cercano le maniere giuste per criticare liberamente un sistema dove veramente liberi non si può essere. Come spesso accade, si sceglie l’orchestra (lo fece anche Fellini in Prova d’orchestra) oppure il corpo dei pompieri, per dire qualcosa su un’intera società. E Passer lo fa qui con beffarda serietà.

The scenario is just that.  Bambas (Karel Blasek) is a music teacher and member of the local orchestra whose old schoolmate Petr (Zdenek Bezusek), an accomplished cellist with the Czech Philharmonic, is coming to town to perform a concert with Bambas and his ragtag group of elderly musicians.  Petr arrives a day early with girlfriend Stepa (Vera Kresadlová) and the film follows their day spent visiting Bambas, his family, and parents-in-law at his rural home.
What really makes this film special is the light and airy way in which the story is presented.  Story isn't quite the right word here because there really isn't any traditional narrative at play, it's simply a string of cleverly scripted and acted situations filled with the glorious little details of life that practically everyone has experienced at one time or another.  The sadness of past regrets, the amusing conversations with weird strangers, getting drunk with a good friend, or having to leave the dinner table because you are overcome with uncontrollable laughter for no good reason.  There is no grand ambition or pretense, no commercial intentions, no moral soap boxing, just pure distilled art…

Passer’s behavioral comedy revolves around “Bambas,” who lives with wife, young children and parents in a country village. Petr, whose musical career, unlike Bambas’s, took off and now lives in Prague, has come home for a visit. He is scheduled to perform with the orchestra we have already watched rehearse. Bambas and Petr, who is accompanied by his girlfriend, are a competitive pair, but their friendship is attuned to a mutual neediness. Bambas, who is well played by Karel Blažek, who was dying of cancer during the shoot, is steeped in regrets over his own professional failure. His aura of “what-might-have-been” refers politically, as a whisper, to Czechoslovakia—as does his mother’s thick breakfast concoction, for which she coaches patience at their farewell meal. The film closes on this daft moment, a tribute to Czech persistence…

When legendary Polish director Krzyzstof Kieslowski (Three Colours Trilogy) cites Intimate Lighting as one of the ten films that have most affected him, you know it's not going be a turkey. But after 15 minutes of Ivan Passer's carefully measured scene-setting, you do start to wonder if it will be one of those bleak, monochrome Eastern European classics you wished you liked, but would actually rather pull teeth than sit through.
Have no fear. In Passer's hands, understatement is a powerful weapon. This delicate comedy proves perhaps the gentlest example of all Czech new wave cinema - but also one of its genuine masterpieces…

For a movie in which nothing much really happens, INTIMATE LIGHTING is full of memorable moments – a family dinner scene in which a roasted chicken becomes a game of musical plates as the guests and hosts defer to each other over the best pieces, a flirtation scene between a mentally deficient villager and Stepa, who innocently teases him with an apple, and the scene when Peter and Bambas, drunk on homemade brandy, find musical inspiration in the sounds of the snoring women in their bedrooms…

… Nothing important happens, as during the day they eat a big meal, attend an old-fashioned country funeral, a retired pharmacist (Karel Uhlik) visits to play with the guest and family members a chamber piece and in the evening the friends get soused on grandfather's home brew. In the short time I got to know all the characters, and felt the film's tenderness. I was also impressed with its call for finding one's identity and its acceptance of change. The lighthearted comedy left a good impression on me, I simply fell in love with it.

…Passer prend un plaisir, malicieux contre la malignité, à balayer d’un revers de main implicite toutes les intrigues "croustillantes" qui pourraient naître de son portrait d’ensemble. Amourette ou coucherie qui froisserait deux anciens amis ? Trop facile, trop attendu. Sa mise en scène ne dévie pas d’un pouce de son projet paradoxal : laisser comédiennes et comédiens collectivement divaguer dans un climat de rêverie contrôlée. Plans larges cadrant le groupe en brasserie, ou rapprochés isolant ceux que la fiction stricte élaguerait : enfants, vieillards, mais encore règne animal. Il n’y a pas de hasard à ce que la marche funéraire vienne se raccorder à la dépouille d’un gallinacé écrasé. Rien ici n’est indigne d’attention. Dans l’accord ou la dissonance, chacun œuvre à trouver sa place ou à l’accorder à un autre, dans un ensemble dont la cohésion tiendrait à des lignes de conduite minimale : estime du travail bien fait, capacité d’écoute, bon sens, amour des rapports vrais, goût de la convivialité, facilité d’accueil... En un sens, la valeur de cette cohésion tient ici à sa fragilité. Il n’y a qu’à une jeune étrangère (possédant on peut l’imaginer son charme de naguère) qu’une ménagère âgée peut confier une aventure passée (son enlèvement par son époux) avant d’effectuer une improbable pirouette sur elle-même. Usant de leur temps libre, les individus pourraient refuser l’échange qui s’y établit. Il va de soi que cette liberté, dans leur vie de tous les jours, familiale ou professionnelle, ne leur serait guère accordée. Elle ne fait pas non plus tomber toutes les cloisons, celle par exemple entre une Stepa amusée et un admirateur visiblement retardé.

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